Healthy competition incentivizes staff and boosts productivity, says new report

According to a Prodoscore survey, 67% of workers say competition with colleagues helps them work smarter, but a majority of them find annual reviews tedious and unhelpful.

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Even though 77% of US workers believe their managers know how hard they work, 53% of those employees long for more acknowledgement, because they don't feel recognized. 

A new survey, conducted last month by the BTB Prodoscore, also revealed that 67% of workers say competition with colleagues encourages them to work better. Those who do the same or very similar jobs, or whose jobs are classified similarly, are quite interested in how they compare or "measure up" to their colleagues. A majority, 67%, admitted that "competition with peers motivates them to do better."

SEE: Return to work: What the new normal will look like post-pandemic (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

That yearly review

There's a reason annual reviews are dreaded: The majority of respondents said they do not find reviews helpful, although 33% claimed to be "excited" to participate in the process. 

Whether they're scared they're not doing as well as they thought, or worry that a not-great review will affect their salary (or expected pay raise), 30% said annual reviews made them anxious, and 26% felt that, while in the review, they're under pressure to ensure their efforts were recognized, certainly a challenge for those less inclined to toot their own proverbial "horn." 

Less than 50% of respondents found traditional annual performance reviews helpful in assisting in promoting job success, which means a majority found those annual performance reviews unhelpful. The entire annual review process also feels like additional work for 22% of respondents who said that pondering over self-evaluation while reviewing and submitting documentation is simply frustrating. 

Review alternative

A large number of those polled, 75%, said they would be interested in a tool that would highlight behaviors that lead to success, so they could adopt and replicate those behaviors to help them achieve their goals.

But 67% were more enthusiastic about coaching sessions, citing them as more useful than the traditional annual review, with 54% interested in replacing traditional annual performance reviews with "active coaching and regular engagement."

"Tools that create transparency between employees and leadership, and present opportunities for coaching are critical to professional growth, whether employees work in an office or from home," said Nadine M. Sarraf, CMO of Prodoscore, in a press release. "It's clear from the survey and the conversations we have with customers that the concept of measuring performance based only on the end result is not fair. Productivity matters."

Productivity: the office vs. WFH

In addition to collegial competition as incentive to do a better job at work, 36% of respondents said that despite the additional stressors working from home can bring, they're more productive doing so than in the office; 44% didn't find any difference between WFH and the office, and only 20% said they're less productive at home. 

An overwhelming majority of 91% are appreciative of being given flexibility to manage their own schedules.

Methodology

Prodoscore said it wanted the study to show actual numbers to the trends that seemed to be evolving over several years as more employees were taking or asking for the option to work from home (WFH). Then WFH became the new normal, a trend that was "amplified" due to COVID-19

Before the pandemic, 61% of the respondents were working from home, but when the study was conducted last month, 77% were WFH, at least part of the time. The 1,000 respondents who participated in the survey were people who worked in many different industries, but included a mix of micro, SMB, and enterprise businesses. The majority were white-collar workers (79%), grey-collar workers made up 11% of those polled, with the remaining 10% described as gold-collar workers. 

"With the right tools in place, businesses can commit to making a long-term investment in a happier, more motivated and more productive workforce," Sarraf said. 

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